Google Assistant

Do Chromebooks have good accessibility features?

Google Assistant

Episode 1696

John from Fresno, CA

John wants to know how good the accessibility features are in a Chromebook. Leo says that many Chromebooks have Google Assistant, enabling you to dictate. There's even a button on the keyboard that can enable it. But the screenreaders may not be very good. John is also looking for an affordable mobile service. Leo recommends Mint Mobile. You can pay as you go.

Is There Voice Dictation on Chromebook?

Google Assistant

Episode 1659

Cara from San Diego, CA

Cara's mother is recovering from a stroke and she wants to know how she can still communicate by email on her Chromebook. Leo says that Google Assistant will voice dictate, so she can activate it and dictate. Then she can clean it up before sending it. Google has gotten really good with it. The Google NEST Home Hub Max makes a great video caller. She can also do that. There's also the Facebook portal. One even connects to the TV.

What's an Alternative to the Echo Spot?

Spot

Episode 1600

Craig from Newport News, VA

Harold has noticed that the screen on the Echo Spot has started to flicker. Of course, his warranty has run out and the best that Amazon can do is offer him a 50% discount.  Leo says that if he's all in on the Amazon Ecosystem, then the Echo Show is a good option. But why is it broken? The Echo Spot isn't very expensive and they don't use the best screen hardware. So it may have just worn out. 

Has my Google Home Hub been hacked?

Google Home

Episode 1596

Pat from Los Angeles, CA

Pat has a google home hub and she thinks it's been hacked. What can she do? Leo says that it's likely that someone has hacked Pat's Google account. Leo recommends changing her password and turning on 2-factor authentication. Add an account recovery number and email as well. That will keep someone from changing your password. Leo also recommends turning off "share your device" in the settings and set up Voice Match. 

Is There an Open Source Alternative to Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1595

Grant from St. Paul, MN

Grant thinks that home assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Echo are great for home automation, but he hates talking to a box and knowing that it listens to everything he says. He wants more control over what it hears and what it doesn't. Leo says that there is an open source version called OpenHab, that is highly customizable and completely internal. And it runs on Raspberry Pi. There's also Mycroft.

Can I call Google Assistant anything?

Google Assistant

Episode 1591

Richard from California

Richard wishes he could name his Google Assistant something else so it wouldn't go off when he doesn't want it to. Leo says that the Hey Google in the mobile phones can. So why can't the assistant? It may be that it just doesn't have a powerful enough processor, and as such, it couldn't read it fast enough. It's likely comparing waveforms with what it has on the device, and then, activates. Then again, it may just be marketing. 

NEST Goes all Google ... rebrands

Google Nest Hub

Episode 1591

NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant.  Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.

The Giz Wiz ... Google in Your Car

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1584

Reporters learned about the Roav Bolt at CES 2019. But it just became available for sale this past Tuesday, April 17th. The Roav Bolt is an aftermarket device by Anker that brings the Google Assistant to almost any car. Optimized for Android devices, just say, “Hey Google,” or tap the button on Roav Bolt to find the nearest coffee shop, play your favorite song or podcast, navigate home, read texts, make calls, set reminders, and check your schedule for the day.

Will 5G Harm Us?

reservations

Episode 1582

Taylor from Cincinnati, OH

Taylor hears that 5G is so limited in range, that there will be more towers and connections. Will that be harmful to people? Rich says no, but it's likely going to replace everything from home internet connection to free public wifi. But how unsightly will it be with all those towers

When will Google Duplex be able to make restaurant reservations? Rich says he just recently tried it out and it works in 43 different states.